The Accomplished Life of Washington Irving

Essay by smyth616High School, 11th gradeB, January 2009

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PJ Smyth

English 11H

Mts. Simonson

November 9, 2008

On April 3, 1783 literature in America was forever changed. On that day the multi-talented author, essayist, biographer, and historian, Washington Irving was born. He would lead a fulfilling life, where he published many works, successfully most of the time. This success would lead to recognition, not only in the American community, but also in the global community. His dealings in Europe would also encourage many other authors such as; Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Edgar Allan Poe to follow in his footsteps. However; there were many factors in his life that ultimately influenced him into becoming the outstanding author that he would later become. Some were external, while others he developed sub-consciously. Some were time periods in history, while others the people in those time periods. Still, Irving would channel all of the influences he encountered in his lifetime in order to become a superior author that had not been witnessed before.

Washington Irving was born in Manhattan, New York City as the child of William Sr. and Sarah Irving. Washington was born as the youngest of the family, as he had eight older brothers and sisters. (Ross 1) His father had been a navy officer in the French war, and it was there that he met Washington's mother, Sarah. Later the couple would marry in 1761. (Warner 7) Washington Irving was born on the week that the citizens of New York City learned of the surrender of the British troops. His parents were strong patriots; hence, they named their youngest son after the general of the American forces, George Washington. During the early stages of Washington's presidency, he was parading the streets of New York City, when Irving and his nanny came upon Washington. It...